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Popular Professional Careers for Former Athletes

Excellence in sports, especially team sports, is a highly sought-after credential among employers in a variety of industries. Athletes possess many characteristics and skills that make them valuable both in their athletic career and during employment in the professional workplace. Former student and professional athletes are viewed as disciplined, focused, hard-working, goal-oriented, and able to thrive under pressure. Moreover, excellence in team sports often suggests good cooperative and interpersonal skills.

Careers with a sales orientation are especially noteworthy for attracting former athletes because many of the skills that make an athlete successful in sports are transferable to this career path. To be successful in a sales position, one must be ambitious, highly focused on their goals, and not take rejection personally. A salesperson may hear the word “no” a thousand times in his/her career, but cannot take this rejection as personal rejection and give up. Sound familiar? Athletes go through very similar situations pertaining to their athletic career and their success on the field. Therefore, employers hiring for sales positions look for attributes like commitment, resilience, persistence, and a winning attitude – traits found in current and former athletes.

Another top career for former athletes is one in the financial services industry. Many former athletes find success in the financial industry because these jobs require quick decision making under pressure, a skill many athletes learn on the field. Former athletes also understand how to be a member of a team, how to develop a strategy, and how to execute a game plan – all important skills for working in finance. Andrew Kline, a former NFL player who was forced to retire early due to a string of unfortunate concussions, tried his hand at the financial industry and ended up starting Park Lane, a successful investment bank in Los Angeles that advises sports-related businesses.

If you are a former professional or student-athlete, highlight your athletic background when seeking a job, as it is a selling point for many employers. Athlete Connections provides opportunities for athletes to connect with potential employers and find a promising career suited specifically for them. Upload your resume today to access our one of a kind Job Board featuring employment opportunities for athletes by employers specifically looking for the inherent attributes of a student-athlete.